Career Advice: Working Around Sickness

Consider this yesterday’s post. “How many customers do you meet per day?” “About ten and I might meet around fifty people per day.” One manager told me about tracking sick calls per department, for sport, because of how interesting it seemed that one area would get sick, then the next, and I suppose it’d be practical because of how it affects his teams. How do I deal with the professional hedgehog’s dilemma of interacting with people that brought their sick to work?

“I like writing. That’s my thing. So if I don’t feel like writing, or the writing doesn’t feel natural, then that’s my cue that I’m not feeling well, and I should focus on feeling better.”

Half our team was out sick this week. We, both from healthcare backgrounds, were talking about how to avoid getting sick. I continued, “if my health level is normally at around 100%, and if I notice anything less than say 90%, then I’m taking proactive measures to stay well.”

I’ve found two things will help with basic health:

  1. Water
    “Are you sick?” “No.” “Drink more water.” I have a 1.5 liter water bottle that I keep at work. I’ll go through two bottles, or 3 liters of water, per shift. Of course, you can’t start running a marathon of hydration just like that, so don’t force it. Consider it your body’s oil change.
  2. Sleep
    There’s a balance here. While “sleep is the cousin of death” for situations in which you have not pushed yourself hard enough, when you’ve done your best that’s when you need to go into maintenance mode. I could have wrote this last night, though my focus was misaligned, so no use.



What if I don’t like water?
Let’s figure out a hydration method that works well for you.

What if I still don’t like water?

What if I don’t like sleep?
Are you sick?
Yes. Well then.
No. Carry on.

How about directly working around people that are sick?
So far I have roughly four years of healthcare experience and avoiding direct contact with others, while keeping my hands clean, were two of the biggest things. “Foam in, foam out,” is what we’d say about using the foam antibacterial soaps before and after doing work.

How about when one of your colleagues is sick?
Funny, that. A colleague asked me to do a task and when I got to the customer, I noticed my nose was running. That colleague later called out sick for two days. I could say a flat “thanks” for comedy, but really, I had forgotten the “foam in, foam out” mentality.

How about food poisoning or other more serious illnesses?
One colleague was listing off symptoms: “Look, just because I’ve worked in healthcare doesn’t mean I’m a doctor. You should go see one.” If the symptoms last overnight, that’s when I’m taking more proactive steps, including basic medicine, before seeing a doctor.

Fortunately, I’ve just been fatigued and not sick.
My body’s just fighting off some minor malaise.



Author: Zombiepaper (Anthony)

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)

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